“William I’Anson – 1962 Jaguar E-Type at the 2015 Silverstone Classic (Photo 1)” by Dave Adams Automotive Images is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

Custom-made lessons

I’m currently teaching online lessons for teenagers and adults, mainly one-to-one. With each student I always like to find out about their interests or passions to make lessons as engaging and relevant as possible. Obviously I don’t have time to create custom-made resources for every lesson, and often it’s not necessary as materials already exist on nearly every topic, but sometimes I just can’t help myself! To this end, quite a few of the materials I share here start out as “topic requests” from my students. You can see a couple of recent examples in my previous blogs, Space and Conspiracy Theories.

Why do I keep writing?

As someone who loves to keep on learning, it doesn’t matter to me whether these topics interest me personally or not, because I nearly always end up making all sorts of discoveries that can be illuminating and intriguing. In any case, I simply enjoy the challenge of exploring a topic, finding different ways to talk about it and clandestinely sneaking in some kind of grammar element. Perhaps most importantly, I believe it can give students a confidence boost when they get the chance to tell me about something they really know and care about, thereby turning the tables so they’re the ones teaching me.

The next few blogs here will feature materials that I’ve created in response to such requests. The focus is on comprehension and speaking activities, and the lexicon of the subject. Although the vocabulary related to certain specialist subjects can be more advanced then their general vocabulary use, because the student already has the knowledge and is familiar with the context, this makes any unfamiliar language much easier to process.

Grammar is not the focus in these lessons, but can be dipped into along the way, as required. Some suggestions on this are included in the Teacher’s Notes and you can find plenty of supporting grammar materials on my resources page.

Sports Cars

This was the topic of choice for a 14-year-old student recently, and certainly not an area I feel very knowledgeable about. However after some research I’ve tried to give as much supporting information as I can in the teaching notes, so if like me, you don’t feel too confident on the topic these should guide you through.

There is probably enough here to cover two one hour lessons plus homework, the materials include:

  • Speaking activity: What would be your choice of sports car – prioritizing criteria
  • Short YouTube video “The World’s 10 Greatest Sports Cars” – making notes on each car, choosing a favourite & presenting their reasons.
  • “Formula One” – Reading Text with comprehension questions, technical vocabulary, and pre-reading as well as follow-up discussion.
  • Teaching Notes – including suggestions for group/class activities, answers to comprehension questions and recommended grammar points.

Previous Blog Posts

If you’ve enjoyed this post, or found it useful, why not check out my previous blogs with a whole range of free downloadable lessons.

Resources Page

You can access all my downloadable PDF resources from my previous blogs on one page!

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